Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The last Epson product I'll ever buy

I rarely get this angry, and whether or not Epson gives me a resolution, I'll never again purchase one of their products.

This past May 28th, I bought an Stylus C66 inkjet. It was only $60, I think, and seemed a good, inexpensive complement to my laser printer. The C66 produced some very nice 4x6 photos and documents with color text, but for the last month I haven't used it.

Tonight I needed to print a letter-sized document with colored text, but the paper kept feeding crooked and jamming, or not feeding at all. To make matters worse, though there was no paper, the printer still insisted on printing, and that drained the black ink cartridge almost completely! Suddenly I got a warning that it was down to 20%, which shocked me because it was still very full a month ago. All I had printed were a dozen photo-quality printouts and perhaps 20 pages of black text.

A quick peek inside showed why the black cartridge lost so much ink. It wasn't leaking, but I saw a foam strip running across that seemed to have black ink on it. Touching it with my finger confirmed that it was soaked. So when there was no paper, the printer was still moving the print heads back and forth, and the foam strip happily absorbed as much ink as it could. And that was from only a few dozen passes! Each time I heard the printer heads moving, I'd shut off the printer via a master power switch. I was doing this before I knew the black ink was draining fast.

Having used printers for years (since the old days of dot matrix and thermal-transfer printers), I know how to load paper in all kinds. A nearly vertical sheet feeder is basically foolproof, but that doesn't matter when the rollers aren't grabbing the paper properly (if at all). I just can't get over this piece of Epson junk, and I'm not alone. Epinions.com has some unflattering reviews of the similar Stylus C64, and someone has had the same problems with his Stylus 660.

Eventually I got lucky and managed to print a few copies of my document, but not before the printer forced 10 pages through at once. The feeder mechanism is so poorly designed, as is the support strip. Tomorrow I'm going to dash off a very angry e-mail to Epson, who at the least could send me a new black ink cartridge to make up for the one their crappy printer wasted. I'm half-expecting them to claim that my expensive, ultra-bright inkjet paper isn't "Epson-compatible."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's why I gave up on cheap printers a few years ago. Doesn't matter what brand, they are all cheap crap--you get what you've paid for.

When my wife's last printer ran out of ink, I looked at my closet shelf with 6 (SIX!!!) no-longer working printers and went out an bought a $250 Canon. Best thing I ever did in the printer arena was to buy a printer that cost as much as 4 cheap printers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 9:10:00 AM  

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